NEW YORK — As the NHL eyes expanded video review, it’s unlikely to solve problems with goaltender interference.
The league’s competition committee met Monday, two days after a controversial goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final that involved contact on Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and discussed making more situations subject to review. But because of the variables present, there’s no comfort level about making goaltender interference reviewable.
“I think the underlying fundamental here is that if you’re going to go to video review in a given area, there is the expectation of certainty,” said Mathieu Schneider, the NHLPA’s special assistant to the executive director. “And it’s just not there. It’s very difficult. The type of things that we’re talking about, a possible coach’s challenge, are things that we might be able to be certain on. But there’s still a ton of grey area.”
The Kings’ goal Saturday night that helped them build a 2-0 series lead was not the reason goaltender interference came up at the annual meeting, but it’s certainly a hotter topic because of it. The league’s general managers will discuss it Wednesday as well, but executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell expects there to be more education on the subject in lieu of video review.
“Education that’s meant for our players and our referees regarding how to call goaltender interference in various situations, so to be more defined in that area — if it doesn’t take another step, meaning some sort of video review on it,” Campbell said.
Nothing was resolved in terms of defining what video review could include next season, something that the GMs could try to hash out later this week. There are many possibilities.
“We talked about pucks over the glass, we talked about offside goals,” Campbell said. “Then, it comes to the question if it’s an offside play: how much time? Is it five seconds? Is it 10 seconds? Change of possession? On the rush? Puck leaving the zone? What if a minor occurs during that time and a goal was scored but the play was offside? Does the minor come down? Does a double-minor come down? Does a major come down?”
A coach’s challenge system could be part of that process, requiring a timeout to use one. But coaches would not be able to request a review on goaltender interference.
The competition committee made some more solid recommendations on rule changes that GMs discussed at their March meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., most of which are designed to create more goals, including a more lenient interpretation of kicked-in goals and moving the faceoff-circle hashmarks back from 3 1/2 to 5 feet to give offensive teams more room to operate.
“There’s a feeling that, again, this can create more offence, that forwards on a won draw in the offensive zone will have more time to make plays, more room to make plays off winning draws,” Schneider said.